Geno Smith needed a fresh start. He needed out of Florham Park and a redo to the start of his career as an NFL quarterback. He has agreed to a deal with the Giants, and I think that is good for the Giants and good for Smith.
He has been his own worst enemy over the years. He missed a team film session in San Diego in his second year with the Jets because he was at a movie. He did realize the time of the meeting because of the time difference with the game being in California. He was fined $12 thousand for cursing out a fan. He lost his starting quarterback job in 2015 after getting punched and having his jaw broken by teammate IK Enemkpali over a $600 debt that Smith owed.
Let’s also not forget that he dropped into the second round of the NFL draft because of his personality traits that were portrayed during the draft process. As reported at the time, he was preoccupied with his cellphone when he met with teams during the draft process. He did not do a good job of selling himself as the future leader of a franchise, much less in selling himself. So he went from a potential first round draft choice to yet another example of a player who drops in the NFL draft.
I have to admit that I was not the biggest fan of Geno Smith coming out of West Virginia. I knew he could spin it and had the arm talent to be considered a future NFL quarterback and certainly had the size and displayed the athleticism to be intrigued.
His production on the college level was off the charts, but I thought it was much more a product of Dana Holgorsen’s “Airraid” offense than anything else. A large percentage of his throws came within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage.
Smith was thrusted into the starting lineup his rookie season after Rex Ryan inexplicably put Mark Sanchez back in the third preseason game verse the Giants with the Snoopy Trophy on the line and behind a makeshift offensive line. Sanchez ended up taking a huge hit and suffered a torn labrum in his right shoulder.
The 2013 season for Sanchez ended on that night and that meant Geno Smith was the new starting quarterback. In four seasons with the Jets, Smith played in 33 games, completing 57.9 percent of his passes for 5,962 yards with 28 touchdowns and 36 interceptions.
Smith supporters will point to the Falcons game in 2013 in which Smith played his best game, throwing three touchdown passes in an upset victory on the road. Following that season, due to injury or incompetence, his career never took off and the former Jet was grounded.
Now Smith is looking for work and he finds a new home in the tristate area with the Giants. He is not the starting quarterback but one of the backups for the never injured Eli Manning. He is still rehabbing from the torn ACL he suffered in his right knee in October of this past season that cost him the rest of 2016.
He lands with an organization that is taking a one-year gamble on a player that at one point showed so much promise at West Virginia and at times in the NFL. They are hoping that maybe a change of scenery and some new voices and a new uniform brings about a change in performance. Maybe he has matured and realized that this might be his last chance to gain a foothold in the NFL.
It did not work with the Jets for a multitude of reasons as there was failure by the player and failure by the organization. I get the distractions that Smith has created in the past, but I am willing to be that those types of distractions become a thing of the past with the Giants.
The Giants are not looking for him to start, but to compete for the backup job when healthy with Josh Johnson. The Giants gambled on a talented player who had lost his way. Smith is gambling that the Giants can help him regain his form as a quarterback that he has lost. For both the organization and the player, it is a gamble worth taking